Friday, August 17, 2012

Cauliflower Ceviche

You might remember that back in May, I went to Chicago with Verizon Wireless as part of the Savvy Gourmet program.   As part of this trip, Verizon treated us to a “secret” dinner with Chef Efrain Cuevas who started an underground supper club in Chicago.  The team kept the location and details of the dinner a secret all day.

We were taken by bus to a location that I know I would not be able to find again.  We found ourselves in front of a gorgeous old convent.  Everyone seemed a bit skeptical but we proceeded and I was completely blown away by the location.  A beautiful grassy area, open air dining space, brick walls, concrete floors, modern but amazingly rustic.  Chef Efrain told us that the theme of the food would be grilled meats and seasonal veggies and I was totally on board.

The meal was so elaborate – five courses and each was skillfully prepared and wonderfully flavorful.  But my favorite wasn’t the spicy shrimp, or the Cornish hen or the homemade shortcake.  It was the appetizer – the snack – I bet you are not shocked.

Chef Efrain served us a spicy, tangy, vegan ceviche with cauliflower, Serrano chiles, onions, tomatoes and cilantro.  What is not to love?  I instantly fell in love and was nearly full from the appetizers before we even sat down for the meal.  This ceviche has been on my list to make since I got home because I haven’t been able to get it out of my brain.  It would make the perfect appetizer, dip or salad for any party.  It is so simple and so flavorful!

PrintPrint Recipe

Cauliflower Ceviche Recipe

Yield: 6 cups//12 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours - 20 minutes

A vegan ceviche recipe with lime juice-marinated cauliflower, onions, tomatoes, roasted poblano peppers and cilantro.


4 cups (about 2 head) cauliflower
1 cup lime juice (juice from about 6 large limes)
2 cups Roma tomatoes (about 8)
2 roasted poblano peppers (see note below)
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
1 1/2 cups chopped cilantro


Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Trim the leaves and stems of the cauliflower and discard them. Break up the large cauliflower florets into small pieces. Blanch the cauliflower pieces in salted, boiling water for 5-6 minutes. The cauliflower should begin to soften but should not be completely cooked.

Drain the water and immediately move to an ice bath to stop the cooking. Allow them to cool.

Drain from the ice bath and chop into small pieces. I started out chopping but ended up just breaking apart the larger pieces.

In a glass bowl, combine the small cauliflower pieces with the lime juice. Refrigerate for at least two hours. The cauliflower will absorb some of the lime juice as it marinates. Stir occasionally.

Combine the marinated cauliflower with the tomato, roasted peppers and cilantro and season with salt to taste. Serve with tortilla chips, corn tostadas, etc.

Cassie's Notes:
Chef Efrain's used Serrano chiles & plum tomatoes. I couldn't get Serrano chiles at my farmer's market so I subbed poblanos, and already had Roma tomatoes on hand. I say go with whatever you can easily access locally!

To roast the poblano peppers: preheat broiler. Place the poblano peppers on a baking sheet and place them under the broiler. Broil until the skin is blistered and charred, rotating with tongs as necessary. They should be completely charred in about 20 minutes. Remove the charred peppers from the oven and place them in a glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let them sit and sweat for about 20 minutes, the skins will begin to pull away from the flesh of the peppers. Remove the charred skins, open the peppers and discard the seeds and roughly chop the flesh.

Adapted from Clandestino Dining.

I have loved using my Xyboard so far.  It’s amazingly simple to make recipe notes in the kitchen and  it is super simple to clean when you get lime juice all over it.  Oops!  I have loved the ability to look up recipes, like Chef Efrain’s cauliflower ceviche recipe, on the Xyboard.

Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Wireless Midwest Savvy Gourmets program and have been provided with a wireless device and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product. Learn more by clicking here


64 Responses to “Cauliflower Ceviche”

  1. #
    Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen — August 17, 2012 @ 7:03 am

    Hands down my favorite dish that night. I think I had 3… yikes! No wonder I couldn’t finish my dinner! I can’t wait to recreate this. Thanks, Cassie!

  2. #
    Sally @ Spontaneous Hausfrau — August 17, 2012 @ 8:10 am

    Yum! I love cauliflower and I am always looking for new, interesting ideas with it – this definitely fits the bill!

  3. #
    Mackenzie {SusieFreakingHomemaker} — August 17, 2012 @ 8:14 am

    This looks absolutely awesome – so creative my dear!!

  4. #
    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles — August 17, 2012 @ 8:28 am

    Oooooo, deliciousness!! I have had a recent newfound love for cauliflower and definitely want to try this. Thanks, Cassie – and have a great weekend!! 🙂

  5. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — August 17, 2012 @ 8:54 am

    My hubs lived in Chicago 40 years before we left there and I lived downtown in places that look like the pics you posted and seeing them, I am reminded of the AMAZING food scene Chicago has (and the snow – ugh). So glad you had a great and memorable trip there!

  6. #
    Gina @ Running to the Kitchen — August 17, 2012 @ 9:03 am

    This is awesome! I have a whole list going of cauliflower things I need to try out/make (pizza crusts, “rice”…) and this is getting added to it. Such an underrated veggie!

  7. #
    Kathy Steger — August 17, 2012 @ 9:04 am

    I need to hurry up and visit Chicago. What a nice way to use cauliflower

  8. #
    Vicky — August 17, 2012 @ 9:16 am

    Sounds great! Definitely on my to make list!

  9. #
    Sommer@ASpicyPerspective — August 17, 2012 @ 9:22 am

    Honestly, this is one of the most creative things I’ve seen all week. Who would have thought of ceviche without fish?!

  10. #
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — August 17, 2012 @ 10:05 am

    I remember the pictures of that dinner! Beautiful location and still fun to hear about the meal.

  11. #
    Carla @ Carla's Confections — August 17, 2012 @ 10:56 am

    This recipe looks so light and utterly delicious! Nice to hear too that you can just substitute what you have on hand to make it work for you and not too difficult. I love it 🙂

  12. #
    carrian — August 17, 2012 @ 11:01 am

    Thank you!! We just bought cauliflower yesterday!!!

  13. #
    Noelle (@singerinkitchen) — August 17, 2012 @ 11:11 am

    Looks spectacular!

  14. #
    Jennifer @ Mother Thyme — August 17, 2012 @ 11:29 am

    I love cauliflower! This looks amazing! Great recipe!

  15. #
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — August 17, 2012 @ 11:31 am

    So glad you posted this, Cassie! I was drooling over you Instagram – can’t wait to try it! 🙂

  16. #
    Kristen — August 17, 2012 @ 11:33 am

    Looks like it turned out great! Thanks for reminding me that I want to try the recipe myself. Even six days after wisdom teeth surgery, I ate two of them the night of the event. 🙂

  17. #
    Ashley@BakerbyNature — August 17, 2012 @ 1:40 pm

    I love Chicago! Eddie is from there so I’m lucky enough to get a lot of visiting time – your trip looks awesome! And so does this ceviche! I almost always have a head of cauliflower in my fridge; I’ll let you know how this turns out, because I’m definitely making it! Happy weekend, Cassie!

  18. #
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — August 17, 2012 @ 3:05 pm

    That secret dinner looks like so much fun! Thanks for sharing pictures. And this ceviche is just genius! I can’t wait to make this.

  19. #
    Angie — August 17, 2012 @ 3:47 pm

    This looks so fresh and healthy, love it!

  20. #
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — August 17, 2012 @ 4:05 pm

    What a fantastic recipe and so different! I love it!

  21. #
    Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies — August 17, 2012 @ 4:25 pm

    I’ve never had traditional ceviche because I don’t eat fish, so I’m totally intrigued by this idea. I’ve had raw cauliflower salad that’s marinated in lemon juice, but this sounds even better!

  22. #
    Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen — August 17, 2012 @ 5:05 pm

    I’ve never had anything like this, it looks so fresh and amazing!

  23. #
    Ramona — August 17, 2012 @ 5:20 pm

    This looks amazing. What a clever way to prepare cauliflower… fresh and fabulous. 🙂 Have a great weekend! ~ Ramona

  24. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — August 17, 2012 @ 9:40 pm

    what an interesting way to have ceviche! this looks really fresh and delicious! just the way a dish should be 🙂

  25. #
    Nami | Just One Cookbook — August 17, 2012 @ 10:55 pm

    Cauliflower ceviche? WOW that sounds already attractive by the name and it looks delicious! This secret location looks beautiful too – must have been a wonderful event! Thanks for remembering the delicious appetizer so you can share it with us! I love cauliflower and this is a really nice cauliflower recipe!

  26. #
    Stephanie — August 17, 2012 @ 11:00 pm

    I love this! I have to admit that I am not always a fan of ceviche, but this looks fantastic with the cauliflower!

  27. #
    Paula - bell'alimento — August 17, 2012 @ 11:03 pm

    Fantastic idea! So fresh & super clever!

  28. #
    Anna — August 17, 2012 @ 11:47 pm

    I love cauliflower but have never tried anything like this – love it!

  29. #
    Shari-Tickled Red — August 18, 2012 @ 5:33 am

    Oh my goodness! That does sound amazing, I would fill up on it as well. Love the Underground Dinner idea as well 😀

  30. #
    Jen @ Savory Simple — August 18, 2012 @ 7:52 am

    What a great dish! I love the citrusy and spicy flavors of ceviche.

  31. #
    Julia {The Roasted Root} — August 18, 2012 @ 9:08 am

    This looks fresh and delicious – totally new take on ceviche! I like it!!

  32. #
    Anne@FromMySweetHeart — August 18, 2012 @ 9:29 am

    Cassie…that sounds like an amazing trip! I love trying to recreate amazing recipes that I’ve tasted in restaurants. And you look like you nailed it! I love cauliflower and never do very much to it. This is a fabulous way to jazz it up! And your photos….beautiful! : )

  33. #
    megan @ whatmegansmakin — August 18, 2012 @ 10:26 am

    this look so unique and so good! I’ve never had anything like it, but it looks like something I would love 🙂

  34. #
    Kim Bee — August 18, 2012 @ 3:36 pm

    Cassie this is wonderful. It looks so fresh and pretty.

  35. #
    Nutmeg Nanny — August 18, 2012 @ 6:50 pm

    Such a fun and interesting dish! Sounds like a keeper and a great way to use cauliflower!

  36. #
    Christina @ Sweet Pea's Kitchen — August 18, 2012 @ 11:25 pm

    Ceviche without fish? Finally a ceviche I can eat while pregnant…Looks delicious!! 🙂

  37. #
    Sheila — August 19, 2012 @ 8:19 pm

    I love ceviche! How interesting to make it with cauliflower. I always make mine with shrimp.

  38. #
    Therese — August 20, 2012 @ 8:09 am

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. I’m really excited to try it!

  39. #
    JulieD — August 20, 2012 @ 3:38 pm

    I remember the trip, I loved following the tweets! Thanks for sharing this recipe, it looks gorgeous!!

  40. #
    VeggieD — August 21, 2012 @ 11:55 am

    This is not a ceviche, it’s a salsa!

  41. #
    Kiran @ — August 22, 2012 @ 1:09 am

    This is a very creative twist to traditional ceviche. Thanks for sharing this recipe, Cassie 🙂

  42. #
    Jenny @ BAKE — August 23, 2012 @ 8:46 am

    those photos are absolutely stunning, what a gorgeous location!

  43. #
    Kocinera — September 13, 2012 @ 1:28 am

    Cauliflower ceviche sounds so cool! I’m already a huge fan of the regular, fishy varieties of ceviche, so I can imagine that the cauliflower version is totally awesome. And what a fun night out!

  44. #
    Charlene — September 28, 2012 @ 6:13 pm

    This sounds wonderful. If you don’t mind me asking, did Chef Cuevas roast the serranos?


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